Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Deep Cycle Batteries

Another off-grid power component of course is the battery. There's not much point in generating electricity with solar panels unless you have somewhere to store it. There are many considerations. Many people opt to go with 2 6-volt golf cart batteries, joining them in series to produce 12 volts. I chose the less "hard core" option of 2 simple Costco Deep Cycle 12-volt batteries, wired in parallel. My considerations were centered around choices. For example, I can easily remove a battery temporarily and use it for another purpose, something that you can't really do if you go with the 6-volt option. I'm a bit of a scatter-brain, and might at any moment rip a battery out and embark on a different project etc. 

Costco has several Deep Cycle choices. Again, for the sake of options and versatility, I compromised and got two "Starting / Deep Cycle" ones. Each will function as a starting battery if needed, and they claim a respectable 115 amp hours. Time will tell how good they are, but so far so good.
I have them kind of "temporarily" mounted under my back seat. They are not properly vented but I try and have the seat cover raised and the side door open for the times that I'm charging them in any high amp manner. I'm hoping to build a box and properly vent it, but you know what they say about good intentions. 
Next, I'll look at Inverters and 110-volt AC, although I try my best to live with 12-volts only  :)